Industrial electronics wrapped in fog.
Ceci and Kessiah of Seattle duo Crater recently Skyped with us about Lucy Corin’s short story “Four Small Apocalypses” and their previously released single/theme song, “Crater Head”. Since then, they released “Brew”, another track off their upcoming stream of singles, including today’s premiere of “Gross Relations”. The witchy romance of their vocals is part Grimes, part Karin Dreijer Andersson and part Kate Bush, and the track can be equally danced and seance-d to. The central guitar melody creeps at a relaxed pace but that doesn’t preclude a sense of omen and urgency.
Look out for more singles this Fall via Mermaid Ave Records (and iTunes), and stream “Gross Relations” below. Crater were kind enough to correspond with us again and shed some light on the new release; check it out below the embed.
Describe your process of putting together your upcoming body of work. What is your creative process like?
What was previously going to be a five-song EP is turning out to be a series of singles instead. It’s been tough figuring out which songs to release because we have quite a few to choose from; we’re now at around 20. We’ve been trying to group together tracks that have somewhat similar vibes and feel closer to completion first.
“Gross Relations” seems to put greater emphasis on vocal melody than previous, more electronics-oriented single “Brew”. How does the band look at integrating electronic experimentation with melody writing? Does one interest you more than the other?
Ninety percent of the time our songwriting process begins with funky drum samples or a freaky synth tone. Vocal melodies and guitar riffs generally fall into place after unless I’m walking down the street and have a stroke of genius. When writing “Brew”, the synth sounds came first. Conversely, with “Gross Relations”, we conceptualized the main guitar line and wrote the vocal melody shortly after.
We’re not partial to any particular style of writing over the other, it’s just whatever happens organically. Though, both of us did just come from playing in straight-up guitar laden rock bands and those experiences are totally manifest. It’s refreshing to be making computer based music for Crater and to be able to create a wall of soundscapes with a touch of a finger.
What was the inspiration that went into the video for “Crater Head”. And what is a ‘crater head’ anyway?
The inspiration came from watching Frances Ha. It reminded me of my love for modern dance and the struggle that accompanies it. We wanted to create a video concept that was simple and focused completely on the dance itself with very minimal editing. I have a good friend in NYC who is a superb dancer and choreographer, so we brought the idea to her and she took it from there with complete creative control.
My interpretation of a “Crater Head” is someone who suffers from mental craters, resulting in the inability to connect with others. One day we hope to popularize the term in self help books WORLDWIDE.
How has living in Seattle shaped the kind of music you want to make? Any local peers making music right now that the rest of the coasts should know about?
Kess was born and raised in Seattle so grunge is in her blood. I only moved here about a year ago from NYC but what I can say is that living in Seattle has really improved my ability to write music. Maybe it’s the rain and constant gray, or living so close to dramatic mountain lines and dormant volcanos.
Check out our friends in Heavy Petting. They are heavy as all hell. Also listen to a relatively new band called Bod. We love those guys. Pure shred.
After the string of singles is released, do you think you’ll get to work on a full-length? If not, what’s on the horizon?
A full length is definitely on the horizon… We have the songs for it and are itching to put out a body of work in the near future. The current plan is to play a shit ton of shows in the next year starting this month locally and then touring in the fall.